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Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
Duchesse De BourgogneDuchesse De Bourgogne

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,406 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,406
Reviews: 1,371
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 161
Gots: 407 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,406 | Reviews: 1,371 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmc44
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish-red, with a rocky offwhite head that sticks around forever.

Fruity aroma, apples, acidic, a bit of sweet malt and hints of earthiness.

Taste is complex. A great balance of malty sweetness with a strong tart flavor, like sour cherries, apples, and a hint of raisins and dark fruit. Light and sweet at first, followed by the pronounced tart and sour taste. Surprisingly clean finish.

Medium-bottled, fairly highly carbonated, smooth. A very good beer, very complex and yet well balanced.

Photo of wordemupg
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip 18/6/13

A nearly clear ruby red with lots of carbonation, a light brown two finger foams a little darker then expected and quickly looses half its height but then sticks around a pinky deep leaving several partial rings deep down the glass

S earthy wood notes, some sour fruit, brown sugar, just a very faint hint of funk and vinegar, smells solid but could use just a little more intensity

T flavors stronger then the nose, has a sweet and sour thing going on and it works very well, cherry, strawberries and raspberries both sweet and tart, those fizzy candies that come in the two foot long strips, wood and vinegars quite faint, soft caramels add to the mix, wonderful stuff

M silky through the lips and creams up nicely, sweet and sour, a little slick inside your mouth and sticky on the lips, mild fruity aftertaste is rather clean much to my surprise

O great beer that's already gone at this point, very easy to drink and everything meshes together to create a lovely sweet and sour, fruity mix

I've had this several times before and I'm not really sure how I've never sat down and reviewed it, a classic brew that I doubt will ever go out of style

Photo of JBogan
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with ruby tint, a slightly off white small head which left somewhat quickly and left moderate lacing.

Smelled mostly of sour cherries, with a bit of raisin and alcohol present as well.

Tasted of sour cherries with a hint of alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel was very good. Smooth and medium bodied yet with a perfect amount of carbonation sting.

This was a very drinkable beer, yet it doesn't come cheap. It also seem to have a much higher ABV than advertised. Overall I will most certainly revisit this one again, yet save it for special occasions as it's priced a bit too dear for daily consumption.

Photo of Titans77
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A - Very very dark brown with hints of red where the light hits the glass. Half finger of khaki head that sticks around for a bit. Good looking beer.

S - sour cherry and dark fruits. very pungent.

T - big sour dark fruits with a dominant cherry flavor. A great example of Flanders Red style.

M - Puckering sour from start to finish. Mild carbonation and medium bodied. One of my favorite sours so far.

O - I feel that this is slightly better than Rodenbach Grand Cru. A very good entry sour, which is what I am into right now. Good stuff.

Photo of sholland119
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Along with the Monk's Sour Ale, this beer was my introduction to Flanders Reds. I was intrigued to go back and try one again.

Pours a moderately opaque brown with just a hint of dark purple. A thin tan head sticks around nicely.

Sour fruits, mostly cherries and maybe some green apple combined with a nice bready yeast.

Taste is delicious, with a bit of fruity sweetness in the front which rolls into a nice sour tang. Cherry sweetness come back in the finish. Excellent, if perhaps a tiny bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel has a modest pucker with nice medium carbonation.

An easy drinker for the style. The extra sweetness makes this more sessionable than most Flanders Reds.

HV

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like most beers of this style, I like to describe them as sparkling pinot noir. However, This one is different. It pours a dark garnet color, with a thick head consisting of rather large bubbles. On the nose is a hint of spice, with a scent of blackcurrant. Beginning with a sour flavor of raspberry and cranberry, it is followed by a sweet finish of plum, currant, and brown sugar. The beer is medium-to-full bodied, and is not something that will fill you up before or after a meal. Because of it's acidity, I would serve this beer with fresh fruit or a salad. It would go great with pork tenderloin as well... For those looking to explore into a realm of something truly different, I highly reccomend this fine product.

Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is 'red' only in regards to its highlights, which blaze a casual orange-red, like that of persimmon fruit. The body is slightly dark and its shine is modest. A patchy yet all encompassing tarp of head slates the beer at all times. Irregular patterns of lacing are splotched about the glass.

The smell can evolve throughout the tasting. Generally speaking it is a compost of candy apple, balsamic vinegar and spiked cranberry lemonade. As it became room temperature, the smell grew more sweet than it was at first sour, and became remarkably alike a mead. One (or all) of the cranberry lemonade/balsamic vinegar/candy apple is what most will likely pick up on.

The Duchesse, somewhat distinct from others its style, has an underlying bittersweet cocoa mixed with granola kind of flavour. More like others, the sense of balsamic vinegar is strong. Strawberries, cherries, bruised apple, and dates characterize most of the overripe fruit taste.

The mouthfeel is certainly a lot closer to a wine than most beer drinkers would be used to. Bitterness is replaced by sourness (although no Cantillon) and tartness (although no Rodenbach). The oak aging contributes greatly to the overall dimension of the beer, lending a dryness, but also combining with the sweetness in flavour to make for rum, port, or sherry like taste.

Like lambics, Flanders Ales are a blend of young and old beers and carry a touch of funk. Although the two styles also share in common barrel aging, the merging of tart, sweet, and sour, as well as the often underlying acidity, the reds and bruins of Flanders certainly don't drink like their Brusselian cousins.

Flanders Ales offer you a choice. Their subtleties and complexity allow for something that can be sipped and savoured. The medley of sweet and sour, on the other hand, make for something refreshing and rewarding, a glass that won't last long full. The choice can be yours.

I've had the Duchesse De Bourgogne on so many occasions now, including the beer at different ages, and I can honestly say that it is always a treat. The Duchesse especially epitomizes the art of Flemish brewing.

Photo of delicious
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Auburn body and a very thin beige head that leaves an interesting lace.
There's a hint of fermented apple cider in the nose and a little vinegar.
Holding the first sip in my mouth, all the tiny bubbles work with the sourness and cider vinegar to create something alive and explosive; alcohol warmth lets the feeling linger on. The initial sweetness seems to come from sour cherries, unripe plums, and apples, and the dichotomy is an interesting experience; the two extremes of sweet and sour not only coexist, but thrive. As the temperature rises, the sourness calms a bit and lets you explore it more in-depth. I could sip this all by its self, but it also went great beside a burger topped with a mound of gorgonzola.

Photo of UberWasser
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bottle served in a snifter.

Freshness date is 27/05/05, so this beer is about a year beyond that. And from what I've noticed in the reviews, the Freshness date is set about two years after bottling...so this bottle was capped back in 03, most likely.

The bottle popped nicely, but upon the pour, the reddish brown beer is topped by a very small and fizzy head. There is no retention to be spoken of, leaving it looking flat in the glass. But the color is nice. I am worried that time has flattened my beer, though, as I move on to the sniff.

Which pleases me greatly. It smells a bit...old. Not in a bad way, though. When you combine it with the winey, fruity, vinegary and woody scents that rise from the glass it makes me feel like I'm walking through an old wine cellar, with all of those aromas permeating the air.

Now what really surprises me is that when I take a sip, my mouth is filled with a warm prickley carbonation...where was all of this when I poured it? Seems to have worked itself stubbornly in the beer, only to be released as it slips between the lips. Its the perfect sensation to go with the fruity, champagne-like flavors that dominated the front and middle of the mouth. This fruity and grapey character lasts until a few seconds after the swallow as a pleasant just-ripened raspberry tartness rises to provide some drying balance. This taste lingers for some time, with a slightly twiggy, woody flavor slowly unfolding to mingle.

This is a beer that just plain works...not sure what it would be like fresh, I will have to find another bottle, but I am glad I took the risk grabbing this one, because it was quite the experience.

Photo of SuperSpy
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brown-red color, an almost coca-cola like head. Head retention is a little on the weak side but it does retain a nice foam cap and there is some good lacing.

S - The aroma is tart and acidic with hints of sour cherries and raspberries.

T/M - The flavor is tart and sweet but finishes nutty and earthy with a hint of oak. There is plum and dark cherries. The beer is light and tingly which pairs extremely well with the tart flavor.

D - I could sip this all night. A great Flanders Red.

Photo of scott451
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 350ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. Clear dark reddish brown with a big tan head which soon diminishes to a persistent thin layer. Strong lacing. Very light carbonation.

A very evident sourness in the smell. A nice sweet and sour balance in the taste. Lots going on here. Some woody flavours - very mellow though. Hints of fruit. A long finish

Mouthfeel is very creamy but fairly light. The light carbonation goes well with the sweet sour finish. Very drinkable

Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Eulogy: This one pours a very dark, ruby red color. There was almost no head or lacing on mine. Nice sour aroma. Hints of cherries to it. The taste is quite good. It has a mainly sour malty taste, with some residual sweetness. Sour cherries and apples are prevalent, but not overpowering. Very Good!

Photo of fostachild
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an awesome clear dark brown/red color with a good amount of light tan/offwhite head - nice lacing afterwards.

smell is nice - super sour, alcohol. sweetness - tons of fruit/berries.

tastes delicious. sour, sweet, fruit, wine, slight alcohol. interesting balance and well done. enjoyed this a ton! definitely recommend trying one out.

Photo of beertunes
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a Chalice. Thin light tan head that dissipates quickly. A quite lovely deep brown with a reddish tint. Strong vinegar aroma. Flavor has the vinegar, but not as noticeably as the aroma. That musky, deep flavor is quite enjoyable. A sharp, wine like taste. I'm having trouble finding descriptors that fit the taste of this beer. The body is solid if a little thin. Very drinkable, if these flavors fit you. I enjoy this beer a lot, even though I have a difficult time describing it.

Photo of photomike
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer. Pours a deep, deep clear red with a 2 finger khaki head. Retention that sticks around like my annoying neighbor Joe. Guy never leaves! Thick, long lasting lacing like I've never seen.

Smell is of vinegary, sour apples, slightly vinuous, like a dry Riesling.

The taste is incredible. The vinegary apples are definitely there and prominent, but this is a complex beer. On the forefront is very noticeable funk--I have actually heard people use the words "sweaty socks" to describe this taste, and I'm surprisingly comfortable with that given my distaste for using really unappetizing terms to describe a beer's flavor. The funk fits, and doesn't stick around too long. Immediately following the wave of funk, your palate is hit with some sourness that quickly turns into a really pleasant smooth sweetness, and then a nice sour finish. Man I am loving this.

Smooth and creamy, and perfectly carbonated, I am actually getting a bit of chewiness. Not as clean as I expected it to be, but that is not a bad thing.

I could drink a lot of this, but it is definitely one to be savored. I will be disappointed to see the bottom of this glass. If only it would stick around as long as Joe. Get out you damn fool!!!

Photo of slayer3604
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a- thick, lasting white head, with a bronze/brown body with filthy lacing and churns of carbonation.

s- tart lactic cherry cola, a wiff of effervescence and the TINIEST hint of vinegar.

T- Mild, but full of flavor. a crisp hint of cherry, taffy, sour cream, fig and toffee. I really wish it was more tart and acidic! such a good beer for 10.99 a 750ml though.

m- light, but when you swish it around it becomes a lathery crusade upon thine palate. nice dry finish.

d- i could drink this shit up every day of the week. well....i order beer so why not? *marks down one case of duchesse for wednesday's delivery*.

Photo of kaseydad
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up the Duchesse after many times passing her by due to the uncertainty. My wife picked her up for me at Whole Foods and unfortunately it was placed facing the cold box near an auxillary vent...of heat...which was keeping cheese cold. Go figure.

After 24 hours in the cold, the Duchesse and I had our rendezvous.

Being my first Flanders Red Ale, she went easy. She poured a nice reddish brown color with a single layer of foam. A light carbonation was also present.

She yielded a major vinegar aroma with a whisp of cherry in the background.

She tasted of a sweet vinegar on the initial sip with a nice sweetness on the back of the tongue and lips. A very intriguing taste for a newbie to this style.

It was a nice refreshing brew to some of the others I have tried in the past and is very drinkable if you can get past the ever-present vinegar smell.

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with exp date of 03/2012 on cork. Poured into Duvel tulip glass on Jan 27, 2012.

Appearance: 5

Dark brown, with hint of dark cherry, body. Pour with a 1 inch dense white head that tender to persist nicely. Actually a great looking beer.

Smell:4

Tart fruit, especially cherry, and prominent sourness, with a slight vinegary note, dominates. Mild, appropriate funk detectable. Also get a mild spiced note from yeast. Overall, pleasant aroma that lets you know this is a sour beer.

Taste: 4.5

On first sip, very intriguing and complex. On further tasting, I detect a tart cherry presence, with a slight candy sweetness. This quickly transitions into a more bold pure sourness, with strong persisting cherry fruit notes as well as a touch of lemon. Midway through, there is a soft funk detectable. Flickering faint notes of spice also are present at times.
Finishes relatively cleanly with lingering sour/tart fruit notes. Overall, undoubtly sour, but well balance IMO.

Mouthfeel: 4

Nice soft moderate, somewhat creamy carbonation. Body is mild-moderate thickness, at times feels slightly thin possibly, mainly at the finish. But in the end, this is not a real big deal. Still a good mouthfeel overall.

Overall: 4.5

Great sour beer. Good flavours, with a nice complexity of layers. Sourness is prominent, but not through the roof. Incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol content of 6.2% makes is reasonably to drink a bottle on one’s own. I know that this a beer I will drink frequent to satisfy a sour-craving.
Highly recommend.

Photo of hagbergl
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 mL green bottle into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass. This is the first time I have had a full glass of this beer, so I'm interested to see how it compares to other great Flanders Reds, like the Bruery's Oude Tart and, of course, Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Appearance (4/5): The Duchesse pours a dark red-brown with a rocky, slightly choppy tan/light brown head. Lots of soapy lacing on the sides of the glass when I tilt it. Beautiful color; wish there was more head to top it off, but that's nitpicking a little too much.

Smell (4.5/5): VERY DISTINCT: The Duchesse has a pronounced balsamic vinegar smell to it that is unlike other sours I've smelled. Black pepper, blackberry, black cherries, pomegranate are prominent notes, too. Very interesting and unusual.

Taste (4.5/5): Very fruity: blackberry and pomegranate in the front, the beer resolves into a slightly vinegary, mildly sour finish. Sweet to start, but the beer dries out nicely and regains some of its tartness in the finish. Not noticing much of the balsamic character that I picked up in the nose in the taste. That’s fine with me, though!

Mouthfeel (3.75/5): Duchesse de Bourgogne is slicker and smoother than most sours (this due to a medium carbonation level). While it doesn't necessarily make the beer LESS drinkable, a higher carbonation level would really give this beer a boost. Could this be due to a bottle that's been sitting around a while? Maybe. But I'm reviewing the beer I have in my hand. Next time I pick this beer up maybe it'll be different.

Overall (4.25/5): Duchesse is a very good Belgian sour that gets a lot right: it has a great balance of tart and sweet, an excellent nose, and looks very nice in the glass. I do wish it featured better carbonation for sure, but that doesn't detract too much from the beer's overall quality. Very good, and I concur with others on BA that this is a good introductory sour.

Photo of Roguer
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful light brown from the bottle, resulting in a deep mahogany brew in the glass. Thick, three fingers of light tan head. Nice retention, and scattered lacing. Beer is actually fairly clear when held up to the light, with a dark garnet highlight.

Sour aroma from the pour, implying a vinegary taste. There's a light, floral note, along with wood, and some fruity and yeasty appearances. Mostly drowned out by the sourness.

As is typical with this style, the flavor is far more balanced and nuanced than the powerful aroma. Sweet and sour are present in equal amounts: a light touch of vinegar, wood, flowers, honey, dark fruit, pecans, wheat, and yeast.

Very lively, with a nice sting, and a solid puckering effect. Medium feel, but full in flavor.

Flanders red-brown ales never fail to impress and satisfy me, and this is no exception. Exceptionally delicate and nuanced, this is a fantastic brew, and should be accessible and drinkable even to sour novices.

Photo of oh_sacred_hops
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of Sirwootalot
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the bulldog downtown in minneapolis, mn.

Pours a rich, dark ebony-brown with a nearly nonexistent pure white head. The smell is borderline unpleasant, like dirty underwear or rotting flowers. Each sip is elegantly, richly layered with notes of berries, balsamic vinegar, and dry malt. It's utterly delicious, and the taste evolves to an earthier, maltier molasses as it lingers on the tongue. If there are hops, they are utterly undetectable. The mouthfeel is sweet, silky, and slightly astringent.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer that makes me feel like i should be dressing up and pairing it with a cigar; it's easily the tastiest sour i've had to date and a new favorite. I'd score it even higher if it didn't smell so odd.

Photo of Todd
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 250ml brown bottle. Freshness date on the back. Gorgeous artwork on the label.

Appearance: Deep brown/ruby red beer with an active carbonation level and a bitty, pillowy, off-white sticky head with incredible staying power.

Smell: Soft, acidic, wine-like and oak aromas.

Taste: Smooth and soft up-front. Medium-bodied, at times even chewy. A tart flavour begins to build, and in parallel does a malt one. Tart flavours are like sweet ripe cherries with an underlying wine acidic quality that eventually goes metallic on the palate. Citric lime-like flavours mingle in with the fruity cherry. Malt flavours range from sweet caramel to chocolate and seem to flux in and out, with mild bready notes. The finish is clean despite everything going on, with trace malt and fruit flavours.

Notes: I must pause for a moment and thank the beer gods ...

At the top of my list for incredibly complex and unique beers. There's so much going on, and the combination of sweet and tart is like a damn art performance in the mouth. Definitely one of those "wow!" beers that proves how intricate a beer can actually be.

This particular sample was brought over from Belgium in 03/2000. Like other Flanders reds, this beer was also aged in oaken casks.

Photo of Dantheman4162
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my original reviews, so i regret that its not as detailed as I would hope.
Poured from a 750 ml bottle
Reddish brown ale, Very sweet, almost wine like. a little tart after-taste. It was a very good beer and I highly recommend it. I'm going to need to try this one again.

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
93 out of 100 based on 3,406 ratings.